3 keys trends to watch this year in the global saturation diving market

Updated: Apr 12

Our analysis on DSV activity from our Flowline database



More diving support vessels (DSV) are built in Asia Pacific than anywhere else. Interest is growing in what is a huge market with so much potential.


This month, we held a webinar for an Asia Pacific audience on the DSV market, taking analysis from Flowline, our software-as-a-service (SaaS) platform.


Read on for some of the key points – or get in touch here to buy the full report.


1. Major contracts are coming onstream


Several key contracts are coming up in the Asia Pacific region over the next year. Brunei Shell Petroleum (BSP) has many contractors interested in bidding for this project and from our analysis, we believe there will be an even greater focus on local content utilisation.


Then there is Chevron’s massive decommissioning campaign in Thailand, which includes removal of approximately 50 platforms and 50 pipelines. This will also be an attractive prize.


However, with no production at the end of it and the end client naturally doing everything to keep costs down, we could see something of a race to the bottom in terms of bidding. The contractor likely to be successful is the one most willing to take on the risk of a lump sum.


Find out more about how Flowline can provide you with objective and up-to-date data on the latest contracts.


2. Asia Pacific contractors aren’t looking to Western Europe just yet – with one possible exception


The supply/demand balance in Western Europe is changing following Boskalis Subsea’s purchase of Rever Offshore. Based on the size of the Asia Pacific fleet, there’s certainly scope for contractors from that region moving in. However, our analysis suggests this is unlikely.


We see contractors, such as Mermaid or Shelf Subsea, keeping their focus for now on growing within Asia Pacific, or looking to the Middle East. James Fisher has two DSVs that could feasibly dive in Western Europe, but again we think this is unlikely to happen in the near term (particularly with the Swordfish looking like it will be operational again in the Middle East after sitting idle for several months).


However, the possible exception is UDS. With its large, new, highly capable DSV fleet, UDS has the potential to be the world’s most powerful saturation diving contractor. It cannot be discounted from any activity relating to the high end of commercial saturation diving contractors given its age, scale and growing international track record.


3. It’s not just one way


Could Western Europe contractors be making further inroads onto the international stage? TechnipFMC and Subsea 7 are already strong global players. Now, following the Rever Offshore acquisition, Boskalis Subsea is also increasing its international focus.


Our analysis shows the parent company is among the strongest global marine contractors in the world, with excellent liquidity and a global fleet of specialist vessels. Boskalis Subsea has already shown it is prepared to move its DSV assets internationally to ensure its utilisation and gain more global market share.


Our full report includes a breakdown on vessel-by-vessel utilisation figures, a detailed 2020 summary and a look ahead to 2021. Contact us here for more information.

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